6. Of the Imitation of the Lord
Let us all, brothers, consider the Good Shepherd who to save His sheep bore the suffering of the Cross. The sheep of the Lord followed Him in tribulation and persecution and shame, in hunger and thirst, in infirmity and temptations and in all other ways;(See John 10:11, Heb. 12:2, John 10: 4, Rom. 8: 35) and for these things they have received everlasting life from the Lord. Wherefore it is a great shame for us, the servants of God, that, whereas the Saints have practised works, we should expect to receive honor and glory for reading and preaching the same.
- Jesus, the Good Shepherd, suffered the cross to save His sheep
- His Sheep followed Him in tribulation and persecution and shame, in hunger and thirst, in infirmity and temptations and in all other ways.
- For this received everlasting life from the Lord.
- How dare we expect to receive honour and glory for reading about them and preaching about them.
The only acceptable and respectable response to Jesus gift of Atonement At-one-ment is “ACTION”. A Christian life lived completely vicariously will not profit anyone anything.
Deeds not words, as the Apostle James says here in James 2:14-26
Christianity is a practical Faith – to put into Practice the Works of Jesus and to share his Word with as many as we can.
The Church Francis belonged to in the 14th Century – the Roman or Latin Church had its history of Saints and to use their Lives as examples of the Living of and the Dying in the Christian Faith was not wrong, we all need models and heroes. Yet we must heed the words of the Master when he says ” Go and do likewise” – Luke 10:37b NRSV
Franciscans’ keep a ‘Do it’ rather than a ‘Read it’ Christianity that in the 21st Century can be difficult to manage as new manners of doing may seem less active, more passive than the wandering witnessing of Mendicant Friars.
Just remember, what Christ did for humanity is not a secret, it is not my secret or your secret so live it loudly through Deed and Word, but firstly through deed.
Saint Francis of Assisi, The Writings of Saint Francis of Assisi, newly translated into English with an Introduction and Notes by Father Paschal Robinson (Philadelphia: The Dolphin Press, 1906). 13/9/2015. http://oll.libertyfund.org/titles/1172#lf0535_footnote_nt106_ref